Many international brand clothing companies will use 100% recycled fiber made by plastic bottle manu

In the next 3 to 5 years, many international brand clothing companies will use 100% recycled fiber made by plastic bottle manufacturers as their production materials.

The rubbish you throw away may be on the way to become a big-name costume

Although the beginning of autumn, the high temperature remains.

Drink a bottle of ice water for a while, but don’t throw the bottle around after drinking. One is pollution, whether it is buried deep or burned, which has a great impact on the environment; the other is recyclable and can be used as raw materials for making new clothes.

Two large plastic bottles can "knit" a T-shirt for summer, and two small bottles can "knit" a hat.

Today, when environmental protection has become fashionable, this kind of recycled fiber processed from waste plastic bottles has been increasingly recognized by international brands and consumers. Data shows that in 2019, Decathlon used a total of 10,000 tons of recycled fiber, Nike used 20,000 tons, ZARA used 30,000 tons, and Adidas used 35,000 tons...

When resources are recycled, the significance of garbage classification will become more prominent.

Recycled fiber cakes are semi-finished fabrics.

Solve the dilemma, recycled fiber fabrics are favored

To buy clothes, first look at the label. Especially in summer, natural fibers such as cotton, linen, and silk are traditional options favored by the public.

However, in a sports goods sales store in Suzhou Industrial Park, more than half of the summer T-shirts are marked with 100% polyester (polyester fiber). The clerk said that today's consumers, the dressing concept has undergone great changes compared with the past. T-shirts made of polyester fibers are particularly popular in summer. It is light in weight, moisture-absorbing and quick-drying, and has strong plasticity. Especially in an air-conditioned environment, it has a cooler body touch than pure cotton clothing. In autumn and winter, the hot-selling sports jacket filling materials-artificial down and imitation down are also made of polyester fiber, which not only has good heat preservation, strong elasticity, and is lighter to wear, but also can replace cotton and down.

"Polyester fiber, which is what we usually call polyester, has developed rapidly in the past two years and has become more and more popular among textile and apparel companies." Plastic bottle manufacturer Ji Guoliang told reporters that the depletion of natural resources has led to natural fibers and synthetic fibers. The fiber is greatly reduced. In recent years, the textile and apparel industry has been looking for a more environmentally friendly and sustainable new material. The wide application and popularity of polyester fiber has made chemical fiber enterprises usher in great development.

What's more gratifying is that polyester fiber can be produced from waste plastic bottles, called recycled fiber. Its appearance just solves the “dilemma” that the clothing industry needs sustainable fabrics and a large number of waste plastic bottles are difficult to degrade naturally in a short time.

The reporter learned that the biggest feature of recycled fiber is low carbon and environmental protection. In the past, waste bottles were discarded at will in the corners of urban and rural areas due to their large size and low use value, becoming headache-causing garbage. If disposal methods such as landfill and incineration are adopted, secondary pollution will result. Using it to produce recycled fibers can "turn waste into treasure" and allow limited resources to be infinitely recycled.

With the continuous recognition and exploration of the value of recycled fiber, its application has also achieved unprecedented development.

Related reports show that since 2010, Nike’s high-performance jerseys have used about 115 million renewable polyester bottles; NBA star LeBron James and British star Wayne Rooney are all wearing recycled polyester bottle materials. Jerseys; in the World Cup in South Africa, there are nine teams wearing jerseys made of waste plastic bottles; international luxury brands such as LV are also promoting the use of recycled fibers.

Help environmental protection   can digest a lot of waste plastic

So, how can a waste plastic bottle become a fashionable dress?

In the recycled fiber production workshop of Guowang Hi-Tech in the plastic bottle manufacturer Shenghong Group, the reporter saw the entire production process of recycled fiber.

The rice-sized plastic shredded slices can be processed into recycled polyester filaments through automatic spinning equipment for drawing and spinning.

  Recycled fiber cakes are semi-finished fabrics.

Recycled fiber cakes are semi-finished fabrics.

The filament is rolled into cakes-thicker filament cakes, the length of the filament is 1 million meters, and the length of the filament cake reaches 2 million meters. These are semi-finished fabrics, which can be supplied to downstream companies to make various fabrics and garments.

According to Wang Zhongming, an engineer from Guowang Hi-Tech, a manufacturer of plastic bottles, there are currently two main processes for the production of recycled fibers: one is to use plastic bottles, etc., to be recycled, pulverized and granulated and then spun into filaments, which is called the physical recycling production method; Waste polyester materials such as waste clothing and scraps are the initial raw materials, which are reduced to polyester through chemical decomposition, which is called the chemical recycling production method.

The chemical fiber industry mainly uses recycled fibers made from waste plastic bottles. Products include recycled ordinary fibers, hollow fibers, polyester filaments, polyester industrial filaments, and various colored filaments.

Shenghong Group is the world's largest manufacturer of renewable fibers, and began mass production of renewable fibers in 2018. After 2 to 3 years of development, the product range is very complete, including regenerated light, regenerated extinction, regenerated semi-gloss, regenerated cation, etc., and has also developed a large number of functionally differentiated regenerated fibers, including regenerated anti-UV and regenerated antibacterial , Regenerated suction and discharge, regenerated flame retardant, regenerated two-component stretch yarn, etc. The quality of these recycled fibers is almost the same as that of virgin fibers.

At the end of this year, Shenghong will also put into production a 60,000 tons of recycled fiber project, bringing the total output of recycled fiber to 200,000 tons, accounting for 40% of the global recycled fiber production.

"The latest research on "Science Progress" shows that since 1950, humans have produced 8.3 billion tons of plastics on a large scale. By 2050, the plastic waste left in nature will exceed 12 billion tons." Wang Zhongming calculated it. Account: 1 plastic bottle weighs about 20 grams, 50,000 plastic bottles can make 1 ton of recycled fiber, and 60,000 tons of silk can digest 3 billion plastic bottles. The annual output of 200,000 tons of recycled fiber means that Shenghong can digest 10 billion waste plastic bottles a year.

"Expanding the production of recycled fibers can digest as much of these plastic wastes that are difficult to degrade naturally. This is a big account that is difficult to estimate with economic figures." Wang Zhongming said.

Higher cost   "native" has to pretend to be "regenerated"

Since the raw material of recycled fiber comes from discarded plastic bottles, should clothes made of recycled fiber be cheaper than virgin fiber?

In fact, the situation is quite the opposite. On the market, the price of a garment made of recycled fiber is much higher than that of virgin fiber. There are three main reasons for this. First, the apparel fabric companies that use recycled fiber in large numbers at this stage are mainly international and domestic brands. The brand value causes the price of clothes made of recycled fiber to be expensive.

Secondly, compared with the demand of international brands to use 100% recycled fiber in 3 to 5 years, the current market capacity of recycled fiber is still relatively low, far from meeting the requirements of brand enterprises, and the imbalance of market supply and demand has led to higher prices of recycled fiber.

The third and most important reason is that the production cost of recycled fiber is about twice as high as that of virgin fiber.

"Compared with virgin fiber, the raw material of recycled fiber has more impurities and poor balance. Affected by this aspect, recycled fiber has higher requirements for process control." Wang Zhongming said that crushing is a must in the process of plastic "transforming" textiles. Fewer steps. Plastic bottles are of various sizes and sizes. They need to be cut into slices after cleaning, screening, melting, and refining, before they can be further recycled. The recycled plastic bottles come from all corners of the world. The shape, thickness, and pressure resistance of the bottles are different, and some even contain various pollutants such as mud, sand and oil stains, which increase the difficulty of processing.

"The recycled chips have many impurities and poor balance, which will lead to poor spinnability." Wang Zhongming said that if the impurities are not well controlled in the spinning process, the silk will easily break and become waste silk; even if the spun silk continues, There are also difficulties when weaving, which affects the quality of textiles. Therefore, recycled fibers have higher requirements for the production process.

At present, the recycled fiber market is mixed, especially the virgin fiber counterfeit recycled fiber.

In order to standardize the market, end companies require manufacturers of recycled fibers to have GRS certification, that is, global recycling standard certification, which is a verification standard established by the International Environmental Certification Agency Regulatory Union for recycled fibers. Currently, Shenghong Group, Hengli Group, Shanghai Yuanfang Industry Co., Ltd. and other companies have successively obtained GRS certification. For Shenghong's recycled fibers, each batch of products has a TC certificate, and there are special identification and traceability agents, which can not only identify the content of Shenghong's recycled fibers on the final fabric, but also make the entire product life cycle traceable.

Technological innovation   cost reduction and efficiency increase start from "junk points"

"The main problems facing recycled fiber are cost reduction, impurity removal, and quality control. The key lies in technological innovation and equipment updates to optimize the production process." Wang Zhongming said that Shenghong's 60,000-ton project will be put into production this year. Pushing the industrial chain of recycled fibers one step further-spinning directly from bottle flakes.

Specifically, it is to cut a mineral water bottle smaller than a fingernail cap, and then spin it directly, and carry out a complete set of treatments such as removing impurities, refining viscosity, and eliminating differences in different batches. "On the premise of ensuring quality, the slicing process omitted in the middle can reduce the production cost of recycled fiber by about 8%." Wang Zhongming told reporters that relying on the National Advanced Functional Fiber Innovation Center built by Shenghong Group, it can be used for recycled fiber. Functional development provides strong support.

At present, although the recycling and production technology of recycled fiber is mature, the real difficulty lies in the recycling and classification of bottle waste in life, especially the recycling rate. Even in Europe, which has the highest proportion, only 30% of plastic waste enters To the closed loop of the circular economy.

"The foreign recycling industry is more developed, and the classification of waste plastic bottles is more refined than that in China. Especially Japan and South Korea, which have higher precision and better cleanliness, can make more high-end products." Ji Guoliang said, at present, More than half of the recycled raw materials in my country's chemical fiber industry rely on imports. This requires the whole society to raise awareness of environmental protection, earnestly do a good job in garbage classification, and promote the development of recycled fiber.